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Thoughts on reloading safety

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by leadhead358, Apr 24, 2010.

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  1. leadhead358

    leadhead358 Member

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    Years ago when I was little, I was taught not to throw shells to each other when in a duck blind or in the field, but to hand them to each other for fear of the shell falling to the ground and hitting something making the primer go off. I was taught this in a hunter safety course in high school, by my father and in our 4-h shooting club. My question is, setting up my new reloader and having the finished shells fall in a bucket or in a drawer, does it pose a danger of the primer ever being hit when falling on the other shells and has anyone ever heard of this happening when reloading or in the field.
     
  2. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    While a primer can be set off if struck hard enough by a small sharp object, a shell falling into a bucket or box of other shells is highly unlikely to so so. Another shotgun shell does not have any small, pointed bits which could center on the primer, at least if the primer is properly seated in the shell. So no, don't think this is a problem to worry about. Dropping a shell from a sufficient height onto a protuding small pebble, etc could, in theory, do it, but again, I have never heard of this happening. One example of possible problem is a tubular rifle magazine, where a pointed, spitzer type bullet could impinge directly upon a primer in front of it, and set it off under recoil. This is why such rifles (usually a lever action) always used round nosed or blunt nosed bullets and not spitzer type (at least until Hornady developed it new soft polymer type spitzer shaped bullets especially for such rifles (Leverevrolution). I suspect your early "warnings" were just another example of the "myths" often associated with early teaching/training on firearms but not based on any actual experience. Safety is always paramount in any reloading process, but setting off a primer in a typical set up by dropping the loaded shell in a box, etc (assuming you are not planning a drop of 25 or 30 feet onto some rock hard surface) is, I think, not something to worry about.
     
  3. Jawari2000

    Jawari2000 Member

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    Years ago on this forum I recall somebody mentioned having a reloaded shell go off when dropped in a bucket. The person said it was more like a firecracker - presumably because the pressure was not contained and no damage was done. So, while the probability of such an event is very small, it is not zero.

    There have been other reported instances of primers going off while reloading on this forum - I recall Ed Yanchok (sp?), a poster on this forum, had one or two instances before a flattened bb was found in the reloader that was causing it. A search of the old threads might reveal those reports.
     
  4. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    jawari2000:

    Until a few years ago, I kept a cardboard box on the floor next to my bench for losers. Losers are shells with poor crimps or other minor physical defects. The best were shot at practice. Others were cut up to salvage components.

    I got rid of that box when one day a dropped shell went off. The primer ingition was sufficient to open the crimp and push the wad and shot into the box. For the record, no other shells went off and none of the ejecta left the box. Damage was confined to my skivvies.

    I no longer drop losers into a box on the floor.

    sissy
     
  5. RV4driver

    RV4driver TS Member

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    This is not the first time I've seen a similar thread. I had reloaded MANY rounds to the that point, but I did put a "spacer" box under my usual "catch" box under the loader. At least the fall distance was reduced somewhat. I'm a careful kinda guy. That, and I promised my wife I'd be careful.

    I'm still trying to come up with a drop chute that will alternate shells, put exactly 25 in a box, and move the next box into place. I'll fold the box flaps manually, it's not like I'm lazy.

    Jeff
     
  6. Jawari2000

    Jawari2000 Member

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    I stand corrected - damage to skivvies after the shell went off in the bucket! Thanks for chimming in Sissy.
     
  7. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    We talk about eye protection on the field and when reloading, but until anyone actually experiences an episode, we tend to be lax... wear clear glasses of some sort to protect your "peepers"...

    ... as for your shorts, well that's another topic!

    regards,

    Jay
     
  8. semperfi909

    semperfi909 Well-Known Member

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    The shells fall about 1' and a bit into a box below my 366. I have loaded tens of thousands of rounds on that rig. A couple mo ago one went off in the box. Hardly made enough noise to count as a shell going off and I thought WTF? I mean with the tinnitus I hear cracks and bangs all the time. But the gunpowder smell gave me the real clue.
    So, no biggie to me but I did put a three hole binder across the top of the box so that now they only fall half as far twice.

    works for me

    Charlie
     
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